Grain-free dog food and dogs with sensitive stomachs

What is grain-free dog food?

Grain-free dog food means complete dog food that has been prepared without using grains such as wheat, barley, oats, rice, or corn.

In dry dog foods starch is the ingredient that keeps the kibble together. Without starch the kibble would break into crumbs. Grains are a typical source for starch, but in grain-free dog foods grains have been replaced with alternative starch sources, like potatoes and peas.

When comes to the nutritional value of these carbohydrates, dogs don’t necessary need them, but they support the dog’s digestion and can be a moderate energy source. Plant ingredients in a dog’s diet should always be well cooked so the dog is able to utilize them.

Does my dog need grain-free dog food?

Grain-free dog food is worth trying especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach or the dog suffers from food intolerances or allergies. The dog can have either an allergy or intolerance for some carbohydrate or protein sources of the dog food, but sometimes it is hard to tell which ingredient is really causing the problems.

Typical symptoms of food intolerances and allergies in dogs

  • Itchy skin and constant scratching
  • Rash
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Ear or paw infections
  • Stomach and intestinal symptoms such as acid reflux, diarrhea, flatulence, slimy and messy faeces, or constipation

Dog food with too high carbohydrate content can also cause stomach issues to the dog. Make sure the dog food’s main ingredient is either meat or fish, since the most important factors in a dog’s diet are animal-based proteins and fats.

For a dog with a sensitive stomach you should choose high-quality and usually well tolerated protein sources, like venison, lamb, or duck. When planning the dog’s diet, you can ask for help from a vet.

Read our tips for choosing the right dog food for your dog.

Only by trying different kind of foods you can find the best one for your own dog.

Grain-free diet helped malinois Hekla

Ella Toljander's Belgian Shepherd Malinois Hekla suffered from severe skin problems and cracked paws. The dog’s allergy symptoms relieved when her food was changed to PrimaDog's grain-free dry food.

PrimaDog Malinois Hekla

"Sometimes Hekla bit herself or scratched her ears so hard I woke up to it in the middle of the night. I began to pay more attention to the foods Hekla was eating. Chicken, turkey and later beef and pork were left out from her diet. Eventually, I came across PrimaDog’s grain-free Salmon & Potato complete dry food. I tried the food for Hekla. Soon Hekla’s itching was relieving, and the dog slowly began to gain weight.

Today, Hekla eats PrimaDog Active Duck & Herring dry food designed for active dogs. After the change to the grain-free diet Hekla’s itching has completely disappeared! Hekla’s tender paws still require attention, but they are much better now than before. Hekla’s shiny fur also shows that she is doing well.”

PrimaDog grain-free dog food selection

PrimaDog grain-free dry foods

Some dogs cannot have any grain in their diets. Therefore, PrimaDog has developed completely grain-free dry foods that are adequate for dogs with allergy symptoms or sensitive stomachs. 

If your dog needs a grain-free diet, you should also check the ingredients used in the treats and chew bones your dog is eating. All PrimaDog treats and chew bones are always wheat-free, and we have delicious, high-quality grain-free treats made in Europe: Northern Treats and Wild Bites.

PrimaDog Wild Bites dog treats